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No Idols

Ten Commandments  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Review: No Other god’s - Who God Is. Do not worship false gods.
Do not worship false gods.
The Second Commandment…
Ex 20:4
Exodus 20:4–6 NASB95PARA
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
A controversy (though very slight) exists over the numbering on the first 2 Commandments.
Our (Evangelical/Reformed) numbering...
Do no worship false gods.
Do not worship God falsely.
Words From the Fire 2. The Second Commandment: The God Who Is Heard and Not Seen

there is a very clear distinction between what we call the First Commandment and the Second Commandment. The first commands us to worship only the one true God, and the second commands us to worship Him as He would be worshiped.

Natural-Born Idolaters

We are natural-born idolaters, and it is good that we admit this up front.
Why are fallen sinful human beings born idolaters? The reason is simple—we must worship, we will worship. Even as nature abhors a vacuum, so does the human soul. The human soul will find an object of worship, either on the shelf, on the altar, in the mirror, or in heaven. We are born idolaters. (cf )
We are “makers”. We take delight in what we make. We are tempted to worship that which we make - to one degree or another.
What is the difference between “Image” and “Likeness”? Not Much!

Idols are Dangerous because they reveal our theology. …our God.

Wrong worship = wrong god. Even if you call Him by the right name.
“God is defined in the act of worship far more precisely than he is defined by any theology.” -Roger Scruton (British philosopher)
Words From the Fire 2. The Second Commandment: The God Who Is Heard and Not Seen

Every idol not only falls short of the reality of the true God, it lies about Him.

The Lies Idols Tell


An Idol is a thing - it is limited. God is not.
God does not invite us to gaze on Him as a thing, but rather to listen to His voice. Yahweh provides no likeness of Himself. He has spoken, He has revealed Himself, and He has defined Himself by perfections. He is “immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes.”
This is why the “omni” attributes—omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, etc.—and all the other characteristics of God revealed in Scripture are so vital to us, because every single one of them points to the infinitude of God’s perfection. He not only knows, He knows all things. He is not only powerful, He is all-powerful. He is not only holy, He is infinitely holy. He is not only merciful, He is infinitely merciful. He is not only just, He is infinitely just. And the very “thingness” of the idol betrays its finitude.


Idols are made… by some human agent.
But God is not a fabricated deity. There is no assembly required—there is no assembly possible! Idolatry is absolutely delusional. This is why again and again in Scripture, the one true and living God will say, “I made you! You did not make Me! And I made you in My image. You can’t make an image of Me.”
Isaiah 44:9–17 NASB95PARA
Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”
Is 44.(
This reveals a great delusion. This man grew the tree, and then cut it down. With half the tree, he did that which makes sense—he made a fire. He warmed himself and baked bread and cooked meat. But in his self-delusion, he then carved out of the other half an idol and said, “You are my god!”

Idols Imply Control

We, ultimately, control our idols (pick it up, display it… etc)
The god we can control is no god at all.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Most of religious service toward idols is related to their need.
In contrast, our liturgy, service, and devotion—our reasonable service and our spiritual worship—is to be as a living sacrifice (), by the mercy of Christ. We do not bring animal sacrifices; we bring ourselves.
Paul spoke to the idolatrous Athenians on this very subject, contrasting the living God with the lifeless idols. He said: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though He needed anything” ().
We are not here because God needs us or our worship—for He needs nothing. When He glorifies Himself with His people, He does so not out of need, but from the natural outworking of His own glory.
The God of the Bible is a jealous God. He is jealous for His own name and jealous for His own character and jealous for His own glory. After all, who made whom? And who needs whom? Paul said to the Athenians, “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man” ().
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